Teenage anti-Trident activist to stand as Labour candidate

Christopher Rimicans, who is standing in North Ayrshire for Labour, impressed delegates when he addressed the party's conference in Perth in 2015 aged 16. Picture: Andrew Milligan/TSPL
Christopher Rimicans, who is standing in North Ayrshire for Labour, impressed delegates when he addressed the party's conference in Perth in 2015 aged 16. Picture: Andrew Milligan/TSPL
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A young Labour activist whose impassioned conference speech against nuclear weapons became a viral internet hit will stand for the party at the General Election.

Christopher Rimicans will contest the North Ayrshire and Arran constituency on June 8, aiming to unseat Patricia Gibson of the SNP who defends a majority of 13,573.

The 18-year-old from Kilwinning is thought to be the youngest candidate standing for a major party in Scotland.

“People badly need a Labour Government that will end austerity, pay a £10 an hour minimum wage and create an economy for the many, not the few,” he said in a statement.

He shot to political fame in November 2015 when a video of his speech at the Scottish Labour conference was shared thousands of times on social media.

Rimicans, then aged 16, impressed party delegates in Perth by arguing Trident would cost over £100 billion to renew and the cash should be used instead to fund 150,000 more nurses or 180 state of the art schools.

“The one thing I struggle to understand about Trident is why you would use it in the first place,” he told the conference. “It’s not socialism if you’re going to kill millions. It’s just morally wrong.”

He told reporters after his speech he did not feel nervous addressing the conference hall, pointing out he had been a Labour activist from the age of 14.

Rimicans faces a tough task if he is to win North Ayrshire. The constituency, once viewed as a Labour heartland, was won by Gibson two years ago with a swing of 23.3 per cent to the Nationalists.

At last year’s Scottish Parliamentary elections, the equivalent Cunninghame North constituency was retained by the SNP’s Kenneth Gibson with a majority of 8,724.

The Labour candidate is a keen musician away from politics. He was named North Ayrshire’s Traditional Musician of the Year in March for his bagpiping prowess.

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